Christy Moschopedis of FCM Community Cat Trappers set up a video camera and a feed station to confirm that Handsome was living in an area behind Cheam View Veterinary Clinic (Young Road) and the RCMP detachment on Airport Road. (Facebook photo)

Christy Moschopedis of FCM Community Cat Trappers set up a video camera and a feed station to confirm that Handsome was living in an area behind Cheam View Veterinary Clinic (Young Road) and the RCMP detachment on Airport Road. (Facebook photo)

Missing Chilliwack cat Handsome found after five years spent living the wild life

It takes a lot of luck for a domesticated cat to make it five years, but Handsome is a survivor

A cat that’s been missing for five years has been found, and Handsome needs a new home.

The black and white kitty disappeared from the area of Yale Road and Menzies Street in Chilliwack in 2016, and after a few months his owner gave up on the idea that Handsome would find his way home.

The cat was given up for lost.

But in Handsome’s head, he wasn’t lost. He was surviving. He migrated to an area near Young Road and Airport Road, where there is a colony of feral cats living behind the RCMP station.

Handsome started living the wild cat life, and he would have remained completely undetected if not for Christy Moschopedis and the volunteers at FCM Community Cat Trappers. The group works to improve the lives of feral, barn, and stray cats in Chilliwack and surrounding areas. Part of that involves trapping feral cats and getting them neutered or spayed to control the population.

Moschopedis was tracking another cat when she spotted Handsome.

RELATED: Cora the Chilliwack cat reunited with family after four months on the loose

RELATED: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

“I was looking in the area behind Cheam View Veterinary Hospital, just across a ravine, and I saw him,” Moschopedis said. “They have this brand new fully-fenced locked compound and he was in there all by himself. It was nine at night, and I was like, ‘Oh! Smart kitty. You’ve found yourself a super safe place to hang out.”

Moschopedis set up a feed station and a camera to see if he visited the police station side of the ravine, and yes he did.

“So I put out food for four nights, and when I was sure he was coming every night, I set up the trap,” she said. “The girls at the vet clinic kept an eye on it and within two hours we had him.”

Handsome spent the first seven years of his life as an indoor/outdoor cat, with all of his needs provided for. For a domesticated animal to be thrown into the wild and survive five years is amazing. He has a puncture wound under his eye suggesting he’s had a recent scrap with a raccoon, but otherwise he’s in fine shape.

“It’s a lot of luck,” Moschopedis said, explaining how Handsome survived this long.

Handsome had an ear tattoo that was barely legible, and he was going to be released back into his colony. But after a lot of work, Moshopedis was able to connect with his owner.

Sadly, he can’t go back to his original home.

Five years is a long time, and his owner eventually moved on, buying a dog that isn’t cat friendly. Handsome is currently hanging out at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, and Moschopedis said such a lovable fluffball will have no problem finding a new family.

After living in the wild for so long, some cats are never able to re-adjust to domesticated life, but Moschopedis said the 12-year-old is still people friendly.

“When the vet clinic girls first checked the trap to try to sedate him, he was pretty angry, hissing a lot,” she said. “Thankfully, when he woke up he was a little more chill and very happy to rub his nose on my fingers when I put them into the trap.

“As soon as he’s cleaned, and a wound under his eye is healed up, he’ll be ready for adoption and he is absolutely lovely.”

For more info on FCM Community Cat Trappers, visit here.

For more info on Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, visit here.


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on

Catschilliwack

Just Posted

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen offices in Penticton. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen showcases local government

The RDOS has put together a video as part of Local Government Awareness Week

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)
Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read